Do as LKY says, not as he does

October 4, 2004
Singapore Democrats

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Singapore Democrats

Lee Kuan Yew said: Singapore does not seek to impose its views on others. We ask only that others do not impose their views on us.

Oh really?

On Australia
Lee Kuan Yew, Singapore’s feisty elder statesman, has long had a father-knows-best view of Australiahe once declared that Australia risked becoming the “white trash of Asia” unless it smartened up.

On Burma
“I have visited (Burma) and I know that there is only one instrument of government, and that is the army… If I were Aung San Suu Kyi, I think I’d rather be behind a fence and be a symbol than after two or three years, be found impotent.”

On China
Lee Kuan Yew called for “a more participatory form of government” in China and warned that corruption was “a political powder keg”.

On Hong Kong
If I were a Hong Kong person I would pick one of two choices, first, go into business and make the most of it, or second, migrate. I would not go into politics.

On Indonesia
“The market was disturbed by [Suharto’s] criteria for the vice president that required a mastery of science and technology. They believed that this pointed to a minister whom they associated with Indonesia’s high-cost projects. If the market is uncomfortable with whoever is the eventual vice president, the rupiah would weaken again.”

On Japan
Lee Kuan Yew gave a few pointers on how to remake Japan including fostering innovation and entrepreneurship, and speaking English.”

On Malaysia
Johor was ”notorious for shootings, muggings and car-jackings”.

On the Philippines
“I went to the Philippines in 1992 …I said what they needed was not more democracy but more discipline…”

On Taiwan
“Leave history to decide. Meanwhile, maximise your economic opportunities, have a prosperous Taiwan. The Americans are there. They guarantee your defence …and as long as you don’t declare independence, all is well.”

On Thailand
“Many Thai leadershave personal interests in the fate of the finance companies and banks; hence there is a natural reluctance to discipline them.”

On the US
“The West suffers from massive social decay…. But instead of traveling overseas with humility, Americans confidently preach the virtues of unfettered individual freedom blithely ignoring the visible social consequences.”